today’s news for Friday, August 23, 2019

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While younger students have historically borrowed at higher rates than their older classmates, new data from the Department of Education (ED) found that a larger number of students above the age of 29 have been taking out loans to finance their education. This report comes out as more older students continue to enroll in higher education and stakeholders debate ways to adapt financial aid policies to fit their needs, such as developing free-tuition programs targeted at adult learners. 

FSA Clarifies FAFSA Instructions on Combat Pay

The Office Federal Student Aid (FSA) confirmed that it will clarify the FAFSA instructions and help topics on reporting combat pay, after schools’ observations of increased and erroneous reporting by applicants. This change will be implemented with the release of the 2020-21 FAFSA, according to a post from FSA on the FSATech Listserv. For more on the issue, refer back to our March 28 Today's News article on the subject. 



Take part in the first course of the 2019-20 NASFAA U schedule—Student Eligibility. This course will provide you with the necessary tools to determine student eligibility criteria and documentation requirements. You’ll also learn about the role of the Central Processing System (CPS), database matches, and the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), as well as how certain educational programs affect student eligibility. NASFAA instructors, along with adjunct faculty from member institutions, teach two live classes each week. In addition, you’ll have access to video lessons, discussion topics, and learning assessments to reinforce key course concepts. This course will fill up quickly. Don’t miss out on this training opportunity. Register now.

If you're new to the financial aid profession, or your office has new staff members unfamiliar with NASFAA's tools and resources, check out our New Financial Aid Administrator toolkit to learn more about self-study guides, live and on-demand webinars, and our Student Aid Index, which serves as a central hub of all the important financial aid resources you need. NASFAA has a handful of other resources that can help support your training efforts, including monthly pop quizzes that appear in our Today's News newsletter, and online courses that give you the added ability to interact with colleagues seeking the same training. Check out the toolkit to learn more and share this resource with colleagues you think could benefit from it.

Please join us in congratulating Matthew Dallaire, formerly the associate director of student accounts, credit, and collections at Southern New Hampshire University, who is now the director of student financial services at Plymouth State University, and Nishia Ikezoe Heard, who was promoted from process improvement coordinator to interim director of financial aid at Moraine Valley Community College. Learn more about other colleagues' accomplishments, recognitions, and achievements, and submit your own on our Movers and Shakers page.

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The Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2019, created a new Cancer Treatment Deferment for borrowers in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan), the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and the federal Perkins Loan programs.

The federal Pell Grant regulations at 34 CFR 690.10 provide for an Administrative Cost Allowance (ACA) payment of $5 to each participating school for each student who receives a Pell Grant at that school for an award year. These funds may be used only to defray the costs of administering the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and federal Perkins Loan programs.

The third and final ACA payment for the 2017–18 award year is based on records that the COD System has processed from the date Federal Student Aid processed the second ACA payments for the 2017–18 award year (Aug. 20, 2018) up to the date that it processed the third and final ACA payments for the 2017–18 award year.


The use of customer surveys and focus groups allows FSA to gather that information from the affected parties in a timely manner so as to improve communications with its product users.




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